Over 100 ministers punished in Xi's anti-graft campaign over last 5 years

Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: AP/PTI)
More than 100 Chinese ministers were among 263,000 lakh people punished for corruption in the country over the past five years in the massive anti-graft campaign carried out by President Xi Jinping who is set to be China's leader for life, according to a report.

Courts at various levels concluded 1.95 lakh graft cases from 2013 to 2017, implicating 2.63 lakh people, a report delivered by Chief Justice Zhou Qiang of China's Supreme Court to the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's parliament said.

This included cases involving 101 former officials at the provincial and ministerial level or above over the past five years, the report was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency.

A total of 13,000 people were convicted for offering bribes, the report said.

Since Xi took over power as chief of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), he launched a massive anti-graft campaign which included the military.

Those punished included four former high-level party CPC Politburo members Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Guo Boxiong, Sun Zhengcai.

Officials reports earlier said over a million officials have been punished in the campaign.

A recent article in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said over 100 generals and more than 4,000 general officers having been purged, ostensibly for corruption in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The extent of the campaign has sparked allegations that Xi has made use of it to consolidate his power.

As he began his second five-year term, the CPC has brought in a constitutional amendment removing the two-term limit for president which is to be ratified by the NPC later this week.

Once ratified it would enable Xi to become China's leader for life holding all the three post, discarding the collective leadership followed by the party in the last three decades to avert an individual dictatorship emerging in the one-party state.

Zhou's report to the NPC also said Chinese courts at various levels have overturned convictions in 6,747 criminal cases after retrials in the past five years as part of judicial reforms.

Among the cases, 39 major wrongful convictions were corrected, including the two cases of death penalty. Huugjilt a prisoner was executed in 1996 for the rape and murder of a woman. He received a posthumous exoneration in 2014 after a serial rapist and killer admitted to the crime.

Nie, who was executed for rape and murder in 1995, was acquitted in 2016, when a retrial found the conviction had been based on insufficient evidence and unclear facts.

Courts at various levels acquitted a total of 4,874 defendants from 2013 to 2017, Zhou said.

State compensation was granted to the victims who had been wronged, he said.

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